Former Washington Basketball PG Isaiah Thomas Still Breaking Barriers

BOSTON, MA - MAY 19: Isaiah Thomas
BOSTON, MA - MAY 19: Isaiah Thomas /
BOSTON, MA – MAY 19: Isaiah Thomas
BOSTON, MA – MAY 19: Isaiah Thomas /

Former Washington Basketball point guard Isaiah Thomas is still breaking down barriers. His latest effort may be his greatest yet

Former Washington Basketball point guard Isaiah Thomas has heard it all. Too small to play in the NBA. Not good enough to start on an NCAA basketball team. Each time the words and opinions of “experts” create walls and barriers for the young man, he breaks them down. He has begun to attract respect for all he does for the Boston Celtics.

He is lauded for his community work.

ESPN Body Issue 2017

But the most surprising thing he has done since joining the NBA?

He is posing in the annual ESPN Body Issue.

Athletes living sculptures.

Athletes work ridiculously long hours each day to ready their body for the grueling demands of professional competition. It’s not just a weekend at the gym or spa. It’s years of work, dedicated work, to achieve and maintain optimal playing weight, strength, speed, and endurance.

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The human form has long been celebrated in sculptures and paintings as artwork.  However, the ESPN Body Issue is relatively new, now celebrating its ninth year of placing disrobed athletes in front of cameras for its subscribers.

So why did Isaiah Thomas agree to the shoot? They asked him to do it.

Paying it forward

It’s not about personal fame or glory for Thomas. The NBA gives him plenty of that. It’s about knocking down the barriers. He has heard “you can’t do that” all his life. Now, he leads by example that the only true barrier is the one inside.  His lack of height merely taught him that to play in the NBA, he must be unquestionably better. And he is.

In a modern era of negativity from so many sides, this is heartwarming.  This is not about who said he couldn’t. This is about Thomas proving he can, again and again. Not only to prove to future generations that anything is possible, but to place him into a role where he can give so much back.

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The Tacoma Washington native is proud of his heritage. In the photo shoot, his “Tac Town” tattoo is boldly displayed on his shoulder blade. Below that, he has a Washington State image with area code 253. Even further below that, he has the words “Born and Raised”.

Thomas bares it all for the 2017 ESPN Body issue.  But more revealing is the athlete who continues to bare his soul so that the future is a little brighter for all.